When was the last time you knelt down before someone? Kneeling down is not usual action we take. Apparently, kneeling down before someone means to submit yourself or surrender yourself or admit that you are inferior to someone, so kneeling down has a negative image in general. In Asia, if a king lost a war, the king was forced to kneel down before the enemy as a sign of surrender which was disgrace and shame. A grown man doesn’t do that. Some kneeling down, however, could change life.
After entering the seminary, I became a leader of the Sunday school at my home parish during summer and winter vacation. I myself was a Sunday school teacher for a couple of years before the seminary, so I was confident in working with the teachers, guiding them and conducting events. During summer, we prepared for a summer camp, taking two hundred kids out to the mountain for three nights and four days which was a daunting task. We all worked hard. But somehow I started seeing that the teachers were not like used to be: they missed the meetings, making excuses; they were not responsible for the jobs they were in charge; they were not really enthusiastic overall. Although I didn’t like it, I didn’t know how to deal with it, pushing them harder. We conducted a Christmas festival and climbing up the winter mountain as well during which I was more disappointed with the teachers. And finally in February the new Sunday school teacher’s conference came which indicated if you attended the conference you desired to continue to serve as a Sunday school teacher. But many expressed that they didn’t want to go to the conference. I became outrageous but I didn’t know how to express it, so I held it in my heart. And then I invited all the teachers to go to the remote area to rest in a prayerful atmosphere, so to speak, alluring them into a trap. Since I held disappointment, hatred, and grudge, the prayerful time became a way for me to revenge them in the name of spiritual renewal. Here in the remote countryside, I set very strict rules to follow—no talk, no snacks with a tight schedule. The culmination of my revenge was to wake them up in the middle of night and made them do the Stations of the Cross in the mountain. It was very cold and the heavy cross was not easy to carry. Some female teachers started weeping; the male teachers were deadly silent, sweating and panting. I felt sorry for them a little. After coming back to the retreat house, I fed them. They all looked like poor children to me. And I conducted a ritual of reconciliation. The essential part of it was for me to kneel down and to wash their feet. Kneeling down before my enemy, I encountered something that I never imagined.